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Jean-Paul Motta

Jean-Paul Motta

session, year:
2016 2nd


Receiving laboratory:
Institut de Recherche sur la Santé Digestive (IRSD), U1220 TOULOUSE

Country of origin:


Country of destination:


Mobility project

Unravelling the role of epithelial and microbial proteases on microbiota biofilm dysbiosis associated with infection caused by pathogenic Escherichia coli.

Pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli (E. coli) are among the most common causes of gastroenteritis in humans. In the digestive tract, the commensal microbiota forms a lining biofilm, naturally conferring resistance against enteropathogen colonization. However, alterations of this microbiota (= dysbiosis) can be provoked and exploited by such opportunistic enteropathogens. The mechanisms by which pathogen and commensal microbiota biofilm interact with each other are poorly known. E. coli secretes several virulence factors, among which autotransporter serine proteases (SPATEs). These proteases can regulate biological functions in bacteria including biofilm formation and dispersal. On the other hand, intestinal epithelial cells release large amount of proteases which, through action on host tissues, ignite intestinal inflammation. Even though proteases; from microbial or host origin; are heavily present in the digestive tract, their specific effects on the commensal microbiota biofilm are unknown. My project hypothesis is that epithelial and/or microbial proteases induce dysbiosis of commensal microbiota biofilm, allowing pathogen colonization and invasion. The identification of novel mechanisms whereby dysbiosis occurs during bacterial alimentary infection carries beneficial outcomes for public health control. Moreover, the findings will go far beyond infectious diseases, as dysbiosis has been implicated in a broad range of intestinal and extra-intestinal disorders.


Biography & research interests

I always aspired to become an independent researcher in a national research institutes in France. I am keen to train the future generation of thinkers and to instill in them, a sense of passion for fundamental research in biomedical field. My education and research training to date, has chalked out this clear trajectory for me. The AgreenSkills+ fellowship helps me to achieve this professional goal, by financing my return in France at the Research Institute on Digestive Health (IRSD, Toulouse, INSERM U1220) after 31/2 years of postdoctoral training at the University of Calgary (Alberta, Canada). This support will help me to continue to build on my previous professional experiences and to expand my personal circle of partnerships and collaborations. My research has always been motivated by its potential translational impact, and thus my current project is designed to lead to the discovery of mechanisms and mediators for the treatment of intestinal infection and chronic inflammation.

Selected publications

Motta, JP, Allain T., Green-Harrison L., Groves R., Feener T., Ramay H., Beck P., Lewis I., Wallace J., Buret A., 2018. Iron Sequestration in Microbiota Biofilms As A Novel Strategy for Treating Inflammatory Bowel Disease. accepted 02/2018 in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

Motta, JP., K. L. Flannigan, T. A. Agbor, J. K. Beatty, R. W. Blackler, M. L. Workentine, G. J. Da Silva, R. Wang, A. G. Buret and J. L. Wallace, 2015. Hydrogen Sulfide Protects from Colitis and Restores Intestinal Microbiota Biofilm and Mucus Production. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases 21(5): 1006-1017.

Bermudez-Humaran, L. G.*, JP. Motta*, C. Aubry, P. Kharrat, L. Rous-Martin, J. M. Sallenave, C. Deraison, N. Vergnolle and P. Langella, 2015. Serine protease inhibitors protect better than IL-10 and TGF-beta anti-inflammatory cytokines against mouse colitis when delivered by recombinant lactococci. Microbial Cell Factories 14(26). Doi:10.1186/ s12934-015-0198-4.

Galipeau, H. J.*, M. Wiepjes*, JP. Motta, J. D. Schulz, J. Jury, J. M. Natividad, I. Pinto-Sanchez, D. Sinclair, P. Rousset, R. Martin-Rosique, L. Bermudez-Humaran, J. C. Leroux, J. A. Murray, E. Smecuol, J. C. Bai, N. Vergnolle, P. Langella and E. F. Verdu, 2014. Novel Role of the Serine Protease Inhibitor Elafin in Gluten-Related Disorders. American Journal of Gastroenterology 109(5): 748-756.

Motta, JP.*, L. Magne*, D. Descamps, C. Rolland, C. Squarzoni-Dale, P. Rousset, L. Martin, N. Cenac, V. Balloy, M. Huerre, L. F. Frohlich, D. Jenne, J. Wartelle, A. Belaaouaj, E. Mas, JP. Vinel, L. Alric, M. Chignard, N. Vergnolle and J. M. Sallenave, 2011. Modifying the Protease, Antiprotease Pattern by Elafin Overexpression Protects Mice From Colitis. Gastroenterology 140(4): 1272-1282.


Awards & patents

A. Awards

March 2013. Co-awardee of the Prix GREMI delivered by the GREMI, Paris, France (Groupe Français d’Etude des Médiateurs Inflammatoires/ French Group of Study of Inflammatory Mediators) of the best PhD thesis in the field of Inflammation

March 2013. Awardee of the Prix Claude Rozé delivered by the CECED, Montpellier, France (Club of Study of Digestive Epithelial Cells)

December 2013. Awardee of the Prix Caujolle for a PhD thesis in the field of Pharmaceutical Sciences delivered by the “Academie des Sciences, Inscriptions and Belles Lettres de Toulouse”, Toulouse, France

March 2015. Ed McCauley Postdoctoral award, in recognition of achievements as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Calgary.

B. Post-doctoral fellowships

May 2013-may 2015. Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)/ Canadian Association of Gastroenterology (CAG)/ Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC) Post-Doctoral fellowship, May to September, 2013. Withdrawn in September, 1st, 2013

May 2013- May 2015. University of Calgary Eye’s High Post-Doctoral Fellowship

September 2013 - September 2015. Unique recipient of the 2013 Izaak Walton Killam Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Calgary

September 2015 – September 2018. Alberta Health – Innovates Health Solutions Postdoctoral Fellowship C.

C. Patents

Joint-inventor: Pending Patent US61/827074 "Treatment of gluten-associated disorders", 2014 . Inventors (% of participation to the invention) : E. Verdu (24%), P. Langella (23%), N. Vergnolle (23%), JP. Motta (10%), L. Bermudez-Humaran (10%), H. Galipeau (5%) J. Jury (4%), M. Wiepjes (1%)

Technical participation aknowledgment without inventorship : 2011 WO 2011086172 A1 – Recombinant probiotic bacteria for the prevention and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (ibd) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – N.Vergnolle, JM. Sallenave, P. Langella, L. Bermudez-Humaran

Talks in annual meetings

Institut de Recherche sur la Santé Digestive (IRSD), U1220 TOULOUSE
2018 / P1 Molecular and Cellular,P4 Nutrition / by Jean-Paul Motta / Fellows Speed Presentation


Gut, enteropathogen, commensals, microbiota, biofilm, Escherischia coli, proteases, bacterial infection, inflammation